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MEDITERRANEAN SEA – Outcomes of the 20th Meeting of the Contracting of the Parties to the Barcelona Convention

Friday, 28 December 2018
The 20th Ordinary Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP 20) to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols took place in Tirana, Albania, from 17 to 20 December 2017. The Meeting, which was held under the theme ‘Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with focus on Sustainable Development Goal 14: Pollution and Biodiversity' was convened by the UN Environment / Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan and hosted by the Government of Albania. The aim of the Meeting was to review the progress achieved in the implementation of the programme of work for the 2016-2017 biennium and to take further steps in order to enhance the environmental protection and sustainable development in the Mediterreanean Sea.

On 19 December, during the Ministerial Session, representatives of the Contracting Parties discussed " the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with focus on Sustainable Development Goal 14: Pollution and Biodiversity” and adopted the Tirana Ministerial Declaration. Through this Declaration, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to making progress towards achieving Good Environmental Status in the Mediterranean Sea and decided to launch discussions regarding the next steps of the ecosystem approach implementation beyond 2021 so as to contribute to the fulfillment of the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development. Moreover, they resolved to integrate pollution prevention measures in national and local plans in an effort to achieve a pollution-free planet. In the same vein, they decided to continue taking appropriate measures to prevent and reduce marine pollution from land-based and marine sources as set out in relevant MAP strategic documents, namely  theMid-term Strategy 2016-2021, the Strategic Action Programme to Address Pollution from Land-based Activities (SAP-MED), the Regional Strategy for Prevention of and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2016-2021), the Mediterranean Offshore Action Plan. 

Moreover, the participants committed to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns and to accellerate efforts to ensure the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and especially Aichi Target 11, as well as the ocean related SDG targets. They further reaffirmed their commitment to promote adaptation to climate change and increase the resilience of the Mediterranean marine and coastal, natural and socio-economic system to impacts of climate change by advancing the implementation of the Protocol on ICZM and Regional Climate Change Adaptation Framework. Envisioning to promote sustainable use of coastal and marine resources and to reach Good Environmental Status in the Mediterranean Sea, the participants agreed to further develop two recently adopted instruments, the  Common Regional Framework for Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the Conceptual Framework for Marine Spatial Planning. Besides, the participants acknowledged the importance of the comprehensive national reporting in the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols and committed to strenghten the regional and national capacities in this direction.

Under the Ministerial Declaration, the participants reaffirmed the  instrumental role of the UNEP/MAP-Barcelona Convention system in facilitating the implementation of ocean related targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean Sea and committed to enhance the global, regional and sub-regional partnerships with relevant stakeholder with the view to  support the achievement of the goals on the implementation of ocean-related Agenda 2030, including Sustainable Development Goal 14, and especially on pollution prevention and reduction and on biodiversity conservation.

Finally, the participants adopted the MAP Programme of Work and Budget 2018-2019 in addition to the Tirana Ministerial Declaration.

Sources: UNEP/MAP
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